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New Jersey Immigration Attorney for Asylum Claims 

Have you been persecuted in your home country based on your race, religion, politics, nationality or membership in a social a group? Do you fear returning?

A person in the U.S. who is unable or unwilling to return home because of such persecution (or well-founded fears of persecution) can apply for asylum.  If you are eligible for asylum, you may be permitted to remain in the United States. To apply for Asylum, file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of your arrival to the United States. There is no fee to apply for asylum. However, the application process is complex, and a New Jersey immigration attorney can answer your questions and guide you through the process.


An associate discusses that a late filing may jeopardize your claim when applying for asylum.

You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. For more information see our Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal page.

One question that is asked constantly of NJ immigration lawyers is when can someone who applies for asylum apply for work authorization.  You cannot apply for permission to work (employment authorization) in the United States at the same time you apply for asylum.  An applicant may apply for employment authorization if 150 days have passed since the full and complete asylum application has been filed, excluding any delays caused by the applicant (such as a request to reschedule your interview) AND no decision has been made on the application. If you are granted asylum you may work immediately. An asylee does not need to obtain a formal Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  Some asylees choose to obtain Employment Authorization Documents  for convenience or identification purposes, but an EAD is not necessary to work if you are an asylee.

To apply for employment authorization, you must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.  There is no fee to apply for your first EAD if you have a pending asylum application or if you have been granted asylum. For more information, see our Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization page.

Applying for asylum is a very complex process.  Our NJ immigration attorneys are very experienced in this field, and we are able to help you effectively prepare and present your asylum claim.

An individual should know that generally there is a one-year deadline to apply for asylum.   In other words, a person arriving in the United States has one year from that date of entry to apply for asylum.  After one year, a person will have to show changed/exceptional circumstances in his or her home country, explaining why a timely application was not filed, if he or she wishes to file an asylum application.

If an individual is not eligible for asylum, he or she may file an application for Withholding of Removal or Withholding of Removal under the Convention Against Torture.  These applications are harder to get approved.   Also, people granted Withholding of Removal or Withholding of Removal under the Convention Against Torture are not allowed to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident pursuant to such a grant. 

One year after a person is granted asylum, the person (called an “asylee”) is permitted to apply for adjustment of status and ultimately become a permanent resident.

For more information, contact the NJ immigration law firm of Helmer, Conley, & Kasselman.


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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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